Dark-haired actress Lori Saunders is probably best remembered for her six season (1966-1972) portrayal of Bobbie Jo Bradley on the long-running sitcom Petticoat Junction. But she did appear in feature films, as well, including adventure and horror pictures, usually working under the name Linda Saunders, and even got to play the title-role in one such vehicle during the early/middle 1960s. Born Linda Marie Hines in Kansas City, Missouri in 1941, she began working as Linda Hines on television during the early 1960s, appearing in episodes of The Adventures of Ozzie And Harriet playing various characters. By the time she started showing up on episodes of Burke's Law and Bob Hope's TV specials, she was working as Linda Saunders, and it was under that name that she made her feature film debut in 1965, in The Girls On The Beach. Later that same year, Saunders played the title-role, a sort of distaff Tarzan, raised by wolves in the Alaskan wild, in Mara of the Wilderness, an adventure film that got a fairly wide theatrical release at the time, aimed primarily at younger audiences -- additionally, because it also starred Adam West, the movie was re-released following the premiere of the Batman television series in 1966, and was later shown on network television. By the time that movie had made its initial bow in theaters, however, Saunders had also appeared in a lead role in the Jack Hill/Stephanie Rothman-directed horror film Blood Bath (1966) (aka Track of the Vampire).
In the year of that movie's release, however, Saunders redirected her work and career toward comedy, taking over the role of Bobbie Jo Bradley, the cerebral, studious middle daughter in the sitcom Petticoat Junction (and its sister series, Green Acres) from actress Pat Woodell. In contrast to Woodell, who had emphasized the character's braininess, Saunders' portrayal made the character a bit more boy-crazy and charmingly goofy -- one might think of a very young, slightly ditsy Phyllis Kirk -- and during the final season the writers gave her an on-going romantic interest in the guise of game warden Orrin Pike (Jonathan Daly). She also appeared in episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies and Love American Style and, following the cancellation of Petticoat Junction, worked in the comedy western series Dusty's Trail, as well as showing up in various feature films. Saunders retired from acting in the 1980s. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi